In this weeks Monday Flowers I am welcoming January with the first of my hellebores. As ever I am linking up with Cathy at Rambling In The Garden to join in with her challenge to find something from the garden to put in a vase in the house every week of the year. In the early days of this challenge I was reluctant to cut my beautiful hellebores – partly because they always wilted so quickly in the house and partly because I had a limited supply in the garden and did not want to deplete my outdoor display.
Today’s vase was cut and photographed yesterday as I knew I would be very busy today. Over the years of this challenge I have learnt that hellebores are one of the flowers that benefit from having their stems seared in boiling water for about 20 seconds before being placed in a vase. By conditioning them yesterday in this way they are still looking very perky today and hopefully will last a few days more.
Yesterday was a horrible day weather wise. I did manage an hour outside weeding my strawberry bed in the morning, but the afternoon rain was too heavy to continue the job. Instead I placed these flowers in front of the kitchen window to try and find enough light to take some photographs – you can see how wet the window was!!
My challenge this week was to find a new way to display my hellebores. After taking down my festive decorations and in a mood for January simplicity, I dug out my milk bottle vases that have not been used for quite a while. I tend to reserve these for summer use, but they worked perfectly with a row of candles at their base to add a wintery mood, which was enhanced by a few sprigs of ivy.
Whilst I am making the most of these early hellebores there are plenty more to come and I am particularly looking forward to the darker ones that will flower later in the month. Every year I add a few more hellebores to my garden and the ones that were planted when we first moved here 6 years ago are now very substantial plants. As the number of flowers available increases, I am happier to cut stems for the house – which is actually where I enjoy them the most when the weather is so bad outside.
I wil be staying with my hellebores for a few weeks yet – making the most of their simple beauty at this dark point in the year. I have ordered a book about hellebores from Amazon as I would like to learn more about them on these dark January nights and I am planning to take plenty of photographs of them in the garden if the weather allows. I also need to plan this years new additions, so I will have plenty to share with you over the next few weeks. In the meantime do pop over to Cathy’s blog to see what she and the others have made this week – a quick peek revealed that Cathy has a very unusual collection of flowers for January!
Wishing you all a very happy New Year!!